The week of March 10th has arrived which means that I am 10 weeks out from the Mt. Gretna triathlon. I’m really looking forward to pushing myself these next few weeks, physically of course, but also mentally. Pushing myself to stick to a commitment and building grit into my life. There are three points I’d like to share about how I am preparing for the next this season.
1. The structure of my training.
The past few weeks I have been working out about 3 times a week, maybe a couple more.The previous weeks’ workouts have been mostly focused on rebuilding my strength in all areas and not pushing my body too much as to avoid injury. Considering I am starting from a pretty low base of endurance it is very important for me to go slowly even though I want to push myself harder.
I decided when the 10 weeks away marker hit, I would buckle down and attempt to work out 6 times a week. Sundays I will be using as my day off from working out. I plan to try and increase intensity and time/distances as I go through the weeks. The last week before my triathlon I will dial back the distances and intensity in order to taper for the big race. I will be loosely following a 10 week workout plan I found from a Triathlete magazine I am subscribed too. It is pretty easy to find this kind of thing online.
Since 6 days a week of working out is way out of the norm of my routine, I expect there will be some growing pains and mishaps. In order to minimize these I am planning out my workouts at the beginning of the week, deciding what area of focus each day and a rough idea of what I will do. Lastly, I decided that I really want to put a heavier focus on my biking because that is my weakest leg of the race. I can swim pretty well and run fine but my bike is very slow. Just like I am focusing on bike it is beneficial for others to focus on their weak leg as well.
2. Show up even when I don’t want to.
This is a hard one for me to learn and where I think I will build the most grit in my life. I’ve listened to a bunch of habit making resources and all of them talk about showing up and just doing it even when you don’t feel like it. Working hard and showing up are the keys to success. Most days I will be ready to get into working out but on days I don’t feel like it, I’ve got to just put my head down and do something. Even if its something small. A large part of the reason I am tracking my journey through these next 10 weeks is a way to habit track and keep myself accountable. If I see myself getting up and working out everyday, hopefully it will motivate me to do it again. And be able to get in shape for this triathlon.
3. I’m going to fail sometimes and it’s okay.
Overall, I’m pretty happy with how I did with training for week 1. I was able to get a total of 6 workouts in although not quite how I had planned. I was a bit discouraged on Saturday because I missed my Friday work out, and didn’t swim in the pool on Saturday.
However, I ended up watching a couple YouTube videos that were motivational. One of them reminded me that it’s more important to put in hard work than to do things perfectly. We all fail on our way to reaching our goals. It’s more important to learn from failure and keep pushing on and working hard, than it is to do things the perfect way you had planned. So while I didn’t accomplish all my preset goals perfectly this week, I did do well and I pushed myself to show up some days when I really didn’t want to.
It is important to be flexible with the weekly plan. Things come up and people need you. But bouncing back and working a new way around it, can be very valuable.
Planned Workouts for the Week and What I Actually Did
Monday I will run on a treadmill. My workout will be 4x (run 7 min, walk 1 min). I ended up only having a little under 30 min to workout today, so I did 3x (7 min run, 1 min walk). My right shoulder bothered me a bit during this run. My neck and back of my shoulder get tense and sore sometimes when I run. I probably should go to a chiropractor in order to straighten out a few of my physical issues when I work out.
Tuesday I will bike for 45 min at easy pace. I ended up doing 35 min My bum really needs to get used to being on my bike seat. I started doing 25 min bike rides in the early part of my training and increasing every 5 min. I thought I could push it to 45 this time but I had to stop at 35. Fortunately, nothing was painful, other than my bum. This is something that will take time for my body to get used to (at least I’ve read this and hope it will).
Wednesday I will run with stroller outside for 30 min since its suppose to be a nice day. It ended up being beautiful and I did a 20 min run. Honestly, I love running and doing it with others but I struggle when I run by myself. I worry about animals being loose in yards and chasing me. Mostly dogs and cats. It sounds silly, but it’s quite a mental struggle for me to fight the fear. Every leaf rustle and water drip makes me really jumpy. I have a 20 min run loop that I feel mostly safe on but its a challenge for me. I’m hoping that each time I run outside I become more confident and can push past my fear a little more.
Thursday I will do a bodyweight workout. I ended up doing a 15 min full body workout. I did 30 sec intervals of exercises. Jumping jacks, squats, abs, and push ups in rotation.
Friday I will bike easy to moderate for 30 min. Unfortunately, I ended up being busy with a bunch of responsibilities and was not able to get a workout in today.
Saturday is a swim day. I ended up spending my morning with my family and got on the bike late in the evening instead. I pushed it to 40 min on the bike this time. I really need to focus on my posture and using my core when biking. Since I didn’t swim this morning and I didn’t workout Friday my motivation was not there to workout today. I really wanted to take another day off but I pushed myself to show up even though I really didn’t want to. I’m proud that I took that step to build a bit more grit in my life.
Sunday is supposed to be my day off but since I missed Friday I am planning on doing a bodyweight workout with my husband. The plan is to do at least 15 min of cardio, abs, and exercise bands. It was super hard to motivate myself to do this. I got it done in large part to my husband’s encouragement and watching television. I ended up doing about 15 min of bodyweight workout. I did 3 rounds of a rotation of exercises. Push ups, abs, and running in place.
Thanks for reading this! I’d love your thoughts and feedback about how I can better track my progress and reflect on my workouts!